Marines sign Cuban outfielder Santos

The Chiba Lotte Marines have agreed on a deal worth $200,000 with Cuban outfielder Roel Santos, the Pacific League club said Thursday.

The 29-year-old Santos, who throws and bats left-handed, is known for his speed and defensive skills, and served as the leadoff hitter for the Cuban national team at the World Baseball Classic in March.

He is scheduled to arrive in Japan as soon as he clears visa issues.

“He is an ideal leadoff man with high on-base percentage. We haven’t been able to fix our first and second batters in the lineup and it was one of the things we were looking for,” said Marines operations director Nobuhira Hayashi.

Santos has played in the Cuban league as well as in the Canadian independent league.